leavingsoon

MDT to tow 24k GVWR Teton

19 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,

 

I'm new here, first post....been reading and trying to learn about my options for a new tow vehicle to replace our current 1999 F350 dually 7.3 powerstroke

 

Wife and I recently sold our 2007 Cardinal (40'er) (15,000 pounds) and have started looking for a replacement trailer for fulltime living. The (used) units we are interested in weigh 24,000 - 28,000 pounds. We don't plan to do much traveling with the large trailer but do want the TV to be able to move it when necessary...I don't want to have to be dependent on hiring someone to move it if I don't have too.

 

I am thinking I would like to stay with a Class 4,5, 6 vehicle.... but not opposed to the Class 7 or 8 if it comes down to it.

 

Some things I am considering in making the choice are....

1. I want to buy a used vehicle (maybe $15,000.00 range)

2. I would like to use the vehicle as a work truck also if possible....tow a 20' cargo trailer for work as needed

3. I would like to be able to load our 12' slide in truck camper on the vehicle and use it at times

4. I would like for it to be prior to the year 2007 so don't have the diesel emissions

 

As you can tell I would like for it to be a very multi-purpose vehicle :)

 

I have considered a used short school bus....cutting the back out for the hitch???

 

I appreciate any suggestions....thanks much

 

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Well, looking at all the stipulations you have outlined I think you will have a difficult time finding a truck that will satisfy them all. Our current rig has a real weight of 27500 with 7000 on the pin. Our TV is an FL M2 112 with a DD 13 engine. It is a class 7 truck. I would not want anything smaller for a rig this size. Your #3 criteria will probably be the most difficult to satisfy. Criteria #1 and 4 will likely put you in a high mileage truck, plan on spending money on fixing it. Jack Mayer has a very good presentation on picking out a class 7/8 truck for RV use. Hopefully he will post with his thoughts. MDTs and "HDT"s like ours are way more expensive than used class 8 HDTs. I can't recall seeing one, even pre 2007, for your stated $15000 budget. #2 is the only "slam dunk" on your list :rolleyes: Good luck in your search, Best Wishes, Jay

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Thanks Jay.... I knew I was probably dreaming to be able to find a "one size fits all" truck.... figured I would probably have to re-think my options. It may be I will have to hire a driver to relocate the trailer until I can afford something that will work.

 

I do appreciate your feedback about your class 7 truck ....it does sound like your trailer is an exact representation of what we are considering.

 

Thanks!

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You're welcome. Do your due diligence and get the right truck the first time and you will save a lot of money. We went through several RV s and TVs before we found our current Winter Texan rig. Had a one ton dually with a 16K rig and it scared me to death a few times so bought an FL M2 106. It was good with the 16K rig but we then got a 22K Teton and it was not enough truck. So we traded to the M2 112. I have been fortunate that the Navigoddess would let me spend that kind of money but I don't recommend it as the most economical route to pursue, Best Wishes, Jay

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That's what I hate so much about this RV passion/curse....drives you nuts trying to find that perfect set up that works for your lifestyle....and leaves you broke going thru the experimentation process :)

 

Over the years we have bounced from stick house and a pop up camper with the kids, to a small class A gasser, to a do it yourself bus conversion, to a 45' class A diesel pusher and toad behind, to a condo and Sprinter based conversion van, and now to a 40' fifth wheel and slide in truck camper with one ton dually.

 

We were fairly content with the 40' Cardinal but our son and his family found themselves needing a place to live so we gave them that trailer and now we are left living in our 12' slide in camper....it's a little crowded :)

 

So we have started looking to replace the 5th wheel but want something a little more geared for full time living. I am finding that the quality trailers are heavier than the 15k pound we had and my current one ton just won't work. I really was/am hoping to find a truck that would do the job of moving a larger 5th wheel but allow me to use it more for the purpose of a work truck.

 

I do have some/little semi truck driving experience in my past and still keep my class A CDL current so I kind of understand the benefits of the larger truck.

 

I think I need to do just as you have said.....do my due diligence and try to find the last truck first :)

 

Thanks so much!

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Trucks that are already converted in the Class 7 and 8 range do show up for sale here. You just need to be ready to jump when you see one. We bought ours for $19k, but we have put $7-8k into it bringing it up to our liking. (sounds like a lot, but tires were 3k of it)

Check Racing Junk.com as well. Trucks come up there regularly.

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You may have to buy a gooseneck trailer. Set the slide in TC on it. To get all that done in one truck. There's guys that have triple slide in T/C's loaded up on C5500 Kodiak's. But its a job to pull off. An then it would not be enough truck to haul the size trailer your looking at.

Also better check on insurance before jumping in. There's a tread on the HDT site, about Some having issues finding someone that will cover there's now. We have and some of those have Blue Sky. And not looking good for them to be insuring them much longer.

Pete

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pete, I went looking for my secret decoder ring but must of displaced it somewhere, I have blue sky insurance, so Im really trying to decode your message abouit bule sky ?

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Hey guys,

Back with updated info. We determined the trailer we want to purchase so now I have hard figures to think thru.

GVWR = 24,000

empty weight = 20,185

pin weight = 4,525

total length = 44' 7"

Gonna put my F350 up for sale and take my time to figure out whether to do the MDT or HDT. Been reading on both and I like both for our situation. I see the pros/cons with each. 

What confuses me is the whole drivetrain issue....(bare in mind I am a wood worker not a truck guy)..... I see MDT trucks with the same size motor (7.3) in my ford and even have seen the smaller cummins 5.9???

I have seen some MDT's with the cummins 8.3 ....would that be adequate for our 24k trailer?

I understand if I go the HDT route the motor should be adequate for our weight.

A few years ago we owned a 43k 1999 diesel pusher with the cummins M11 and it did fine. So I assume any truck with that motor should be adequate.

I know I am just rambling on....but I am starting with so little knowledge of the need and want to learn so I buy correctly.

Glad to hear any and all feedback!

Thanks,

Phil

 

 

 

 

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Many factors to consider as to what TV will work.  Each situation is unique.  Remember that # of gears will affect lots of the trucks capabilities as well as rear end gearing and tire size.  So, its not as simple as HP and Torque vs. trailer weight.  And taking the labelled weights on a trailer is a somewhat assuming position to be in.  That is why many here, esp those with LOTS of experience, recommend doing the calculations and it is very helpful to have REAL scale weights to work from.  Once on the road, it isnt a good idea to have assumptions as the basis for the safety of the whole rig.

But this is a part of the journey to where many of us here are going.  Enjoy the journey!

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You will find with an MDT with the typical MDT drive train, you will be just fine in the flats but will bog down in the hills with a trailer that heavy.  If you go the MDT route, an M2 112 will give you the drive train of an HDT in the body of an MDT.  Hills will not be a problem with this or most any HDT.  Each one has its pros and cons.  You will have to decide which one fits you best.  If you can make one of the HDT rallies, it might help you make that decision.

I personally would not go with anything less than an M2 112, but that is a personal choice on my part.  I don't like to slow down (not that I am a speed demon on the road), but 35 to 45 mph on a steep, long climb would get old real fast for me.  I live in the west and spend a lot of time in the hills, so this is a factor for me.  I really wanted an MDT originally, but once I started looking for one I found out how much they actually cost.  This was another factor that pushed me to the HDT world.

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To expand on Chad's response, I have a M2-106 with a Cummins ISL9 engine and while hauling 27,000 lbs trailer that is 40 ft, I do extremely well on flats.  Climbing hills with a 7% grade which we have a few in our area, max speed is 30 mph on the highway with pedal to the floor.  While traveling at 58 mph, any small hill causes the truck to drop to about 45 mph easily.  While the M2 is a great truck and a tough work horse, we are trading ours in for a M2-112 with a DD13 engine.  Later on, we are going to get an additional truck (HDT) for all our other needs.

Hope that helps.

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9 hours ago, Pug said:

To expand on Chad's response, I have a M2-106 with a Cummins ISL9 engine and while hauling 27,000 lbs trailer that is 40 ft, I do extremely well on flats.  Climbing hills with a 7% grade which we have a few in our area, max speed is 30 mph on the highway with pedal to the floor.  While traveling at 58 mph, any small hill causes the truck to drop to about 45 mph easily.  While the M2 is a great truck and a tough work horse, we are trading ours in for a M2-112 with a DD13 engine.  Later on, we are going to get an additional truck (HDT) for all our other needs.

Hope that helps.

X2

Went from 7.3 ford diesel to M2-106 300 hp Cat. Same or worse rough ride, a little more power but not much and lost 1 MPG.

Now I pull a 21000trailer with a Volvo HDT. Way quieter than the Ford, way smoother and 2 MPG better than when I puller my previous 12000 trailer.

I would say the brakes and overall stability of the M2 was better then the Ford. But with the HDT there is no comparison.

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Thanks guys!....very helpful comments. I must admit I am becoming more and more comfortable with the HDT idea but just want to know I have not rushed into this and make as educated decision as possible. I was giving some thought to trying to make the next HDT rally, I agree this would be a very helpful experience.

Feel free to continue the comments :)

Thanks,

Phil

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I can give you my prospective as a total newbie that just got an HDT.

As a background, I worked for UPS in my late teens and early 20's (This would have been about '95-'01 time frame). I mostly worked the yard, but did some driving part time, evening airport runs, sat airport runs. I drove everything from the little SRW package cars to at the time the newest 1200 package cars and then the 18' & 26' straight trucks which were probably a 5500/6500 chasis maybe? I can't remember what they would have been based on. At some point working there I got the opportunity to teach myself how to drive the day cab HDT's around the yard and started moving semi trailers around, including the pup trailers all the way to the 53' trailers. I spent more time in reverse and got really good backing up trailers.

I remember filling in one time for a full time driver on one of the older SRW package car trucks that had to be so overload, it was pitiful. It handled like a pig and I remember how scary it was in my 20's driving something I could hardly keep between the lines on a country road and good luck stopping it and hanging on to the wheel. Any time I had to go for an airport run, I usually had my choice of truck and I made sure I was in one of the larger Dually trucks as they just handled so much better and were just so much nicer to drive. Eventually, our volume grew so much, I was forced to use one of the 18' or 26' box trucks and as time went on, more often than not, I'd be loaded down heavy, usually on the smaller one. Again, I got to experience how bad handling can really get sometimes if you are really loaded. The HDT's I only got to drive around the yard, but I really remember just how much I liked climbing up in one of those and how much nicer it must be to drive on the road. Anyway, that stuck with me over the years.

So, when we found our 42' toy hauler a few weeks back that grosses out at 18k, I knew I had to find the right truck to pull it. My wife was not on board on the HDT idea yet, so I looked at 03-06 3500's and right away I figured out I was going to be maxed out if not over by a few thousand lbs on several areas of the truck if I was near max trailer weight. I decided that was an absolute no. So then started looking at 4500/5500 series trucks. I found some that would have worked, but nothing I liked. I didn't really even get into the MDT's because I figured at that point, I was going make the jump to HDT. Everything I had read on here and seen by others was just about everyone was glad they had made the leap from an MDT, so why even take the step. We didn't need the 4 door unit and I'd rather have the bed in the back and the extra room, plus possibilities of carrying stuff on the bed of the truck. 

Just as my truck searching was getting very depressing, my future to me Volvo 610 truck showed up on this forum singled short and of course with a midline roof line being the 610 model. I originally wasn't after a singled short truck at first, but the more I thought about it, i figured that's probably the best setup for us right now as we aren't carrying a smart car or anything, and we went a lot larger on the 5th wheel than I had originally intended, so that would help with our overall length and especially manuverability. My truck was also a manual and as much people don't prefer the manuals, I've always enjoyed them, back then UPS didn't have autos, so I drove every kind of manual you could, and even today, I totally despise automatic cars. It's made learning a little more interesting, but I'm really amazed at how quick I've got the hang of shifting. 

Anyway, I've yet to even tow with my HDT, but I got to drive it 2k miles back from CA and I've been taking it out around town just getting more used to it. I knew on the first drive, I had made the right choice and I'm so glad we went this route. The truck is way more manuverable than I ever expected. Yes I have to pay attention to my height even at only a mid line roof, but I would have never believed how well these things really turn. Every time I drive it I'm getting more and more comfortable and I know once we hook that trailer on the back, I will be a much happier camper than had we gone with something smaller. Now that my wife has rode in it with me also, she's glad we got it. The manual might keep her from learning to drive it right now, but we'll figure that out down the road.

Good luck with your decision!  

Edited by BlueLghtning

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Thanks BlueLighting!....I appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences. I'm gonna keep working thru this weighing out my options. One of the greatest things going for me right now is I have plenty of time....I don't have to get in a hurry (even though I want to :))

So I will keep checking in here and listening to what others have done until I feel qualified to make an informed purchase. I also am committed to get to one of the rallys ....I really think that will help tremendously.

Thanks much,

Phil

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1 hour ago, leavingsoon said:

So I will keep checking in here and listening to what others have done until I feel qualified to make an informed purchase. I also am committed to get to one of the rallys ....I really think that will help tremendously.

Thanks much,

Phil

You should plan on the October Rally in Hutchinson, KS. Well worth the trip. You can fly in if you like, or drive. Lots of hotels if needed. Every year we have people do that. It is at the State Fair grounds. 

You are gong to have to careful consider your needs, and what is most important. No truck is gong to do all of the list in your original post(s). Neither an MDT or an HDT can do that. So you might consider the limitations and how you would handle that. Consider the HDT size - Blulightning has a very short HDT, as I have had. My Volvo 610 singled to 182" wheelbase was used as our daily driver for three years (we are fulltimers). It was WAY better than the F550 that it replaced. I could park it places the 550 could not touch. But there are pros/cons to everything....so consider them carefully.  My website (link in signature) has some info you might find helpful on the selection process.

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Thanks Jack! ....I like the idea of a visit to the rally, will put it in my plans. I have spent some time on your website, very helpful. I have lots to ponder....but fun stuff.

I am thinking I want to stay in the approx. 1995 thru 2005 year range to make it affordable for us. I also want to stay away from the emission stuff. A shorter wheel base is attractive (my current F350 is 172") to help meet all around needs and be as friendly as possible to travel anywhere. 

Thanks much,

Phil

 

 

 

 

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We had an M2 with Mercedes engine and Allison trans. Had it for 2 years, ran coast to coast, very satisfied.

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